French Toast Roll Ups: Easy Make Ahead Breakfast!

French Toast Roll Ups are super easy to make and even more fun to share and eat! Roll an assortment of tasty fillings inside a slice of bread and saute in a pan until golden brown!

With all the tasty parts of classic french toast rolled into handheld portions, it is great to make ahead!

French Toast Roll ups stacked on a plate.

Just like a breakfast burrito or egg muffins, these tasty treats are the perfect grab-and-go breakfast for those super busy mornings!

How to Make French Toast Roll Ups

To make seamless french toast rolls start by cutting the crust off slices of bread and flatten with a rolling pin.

  1. Place filling on one end and roll up carefully.
  2. Dip the French toast rolls into the egg mixture and fry in butter, seam side down in a saute pan.
  3. Once golden brown, remove the rolls and roll in cinnamon sugar to coat them.

Stack on a platter and serve with whipped cream or warmed maple syrup.

Bread rolled thing and topped with filling before being rolled up.

Delicious Filling Options

Here is a great list of fillings you can put into your French toast roll-ups!

  • Fruit: mashed bananas, strawberry puree, blueberry puree, or apple pie filling are delicious!
  • Jam: apricot, peach, grape, orange marmalade, and so many more!
  • Other: cream cheese, peanut butter, mini chocolate chips, mini butterscotch chips or Nutella.

Make a whole variety and let everyone pick and choose their favorites!

Two images showing french toast roll ups being dipped in an egg mixture and then pan fried until golden.

Leftovers

French toast roll ups will keep for about three or four days in the refrigerator. Make sure they are sealed in a zippered bag or an airtight container.

If they are filled with fruits, they can start to get soft so it’s best to eat them right after they are made. Jams and nut butters tend to store better.

Delicious French Toast Recipes

French Toast Roll Ups

French toast roll-ups have the flavor of french toast but are super easy to eat and fun for little hands! 

  • 16 slices soft bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • filling of your choice ((such as cream cheese, jam, nutella or your favorite))
  1. Place piece of bread on a cutting board and trim your crusts. With a rolling pin flatten each piece of bread.

  2. At one end of your bread place your filling (just a small strip) and roll up.

  3. In a shallow dish combine sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. In a second shallow dish whisk together eggs and milk. Dip the bread roll in the egg mixture.

  4. Heat a pan over low-medium heat, melt butter to coat pan. Place rolls in the pan, seam side down.
  5. Cook until golden brown turning to brown all sides.

  6. Remove the rolls one at a time from pan and roll to coat in cinnamon sugar mixture.

Top image - a stack of French Toast Roll Ups. Bottom image - Bread rolled thin with filling.

French toast rolls being pan fried and then dipped in cinnamon sugar.

A stack of French Toast Roll Ups.

Easy Homemade Funnel Cake

funnel cakes on plate

Funnel Cake is a fair favorite, but it’s even better made at home! You can enjoy crispy, fried funnel cakes with powdered sugar any time of the year with this easy recipe!

Have fun and great creative, try drizzling with homemade caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce, or your favorite toppings!

A funnel cake topped with powdered sugar on plate

What is a Funnel Cake

If you’ve been wondering “Is funnel cake a cake?”, the answer is no. Funnel cake is a lovely light batter fried until golden brown, most often topped with powdered sugar. It is a sweet and delicious fair food that no one really thinks to make at home, and yet it makes me wonder, why not?!

They are actually incredibly easy to make. If you can stir together a simple batter and heat a bit of oil in a pan, you can make this easy homemade funnel cake recipe!

But why stop there, if you’re suddenly craving all the fair food, try these churros, caramel apples or homemade mini corn dogs. They are sure to satisfy your craving!

Overhead of a funnel cake on a white plate.

How to Make Funnel Cakes

This recipe makes two large funnel cakes. Because they really need to be eaten fresh, I wanted a small batch that can easily be doubled or tripled when you need it.

  1. Mix together wet ingredients.
  2. Whisk in dry ingredients until completely smooth (per recipe below).
  3. In a pot of hot oil, drizzle batter in thin lines, swirling and overlapping.
  4. Cook just until golden, using tongs to carefully flip.

Remove to a paper towel to drain excess oil.  Dust with powdered sugar, add your toppings of choice, and serve immediately.

A funnel cake being dusted with powdered sugar

Best Funnel Cake Toppings

The most difficult thing about making homemade funnel cakes might be deciding what to top them with ;).

Traditionally, they are served with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar. But there are so many fun toppings to try!

  • Fruit: Fresh sliced strawberries, pineapples, or an assortment of berries!
  • Ice Cream: A scoop of your favorite ice cream, like classic vanilla or mint chocolate chip ice cream.
  • Sauce: Drizzle with chocolate sauce, homemade nutella, caramel sauce, or even whipped cream!
  • Sprinkles: Try cinnamon sugar like a churro or classic rainbow sprinkles.

Whatever you choose, just be sure you eat them while they’re fresh and warm!

More Fun Desserts

Funnel Cakes

Funnel Cake is a fair favorite, but it's even better made at home! You can enjoy crispy, fried funnel cakes with powdered sugar any time of the year with this easy recipe!

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  1. In a large liquid measuring cup or batter bowl with a spout, whisk together milk, egg, water and vanilla.

  2. Add sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk until combined.

  3. Add the flour, and whisk until completely smooth. Set aside.

  4. In a medium, deep-sided pan or pot, heat 1" of oil to 375°F over medium-high heat. When you put the end of a wooden spoon in the pot and bubbles form around the spoon, it's ready. Reduce heat to medium.

  5. Drizzle batter from cup in a thin line, swirling around the pan and overlapping as desired. Cook for 2 minutes or until light golden brown, then flip and cook another 2 minutes or until golden brown.

  6. Dust with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and serve. Repeat one more time with the remaining batter.

A homemade funnel cake dusted with powdered sugar.
A homemade funnel cake being dusted with powdered sugar.
Top image - a funnel cake being dusted with powdered sugar. Bottom image - a funnel cake on a plate.

Homemade Crescent Rolls {Tender & Flaky}

Homemade Crescent Rolls are so soft and buttery, you’ll never go back to the canned version again. This easy recipe yields perfectly fluffy rolls, full of real butter flavor! 

Don’t let the thought of yeast intimidate you! While it takes some time, these are not difficult to make.

A basket full of homemade crescent rolls

Tips For Making Crescent Rolls

Knowing a few tips for bread making can make the process easy

  • Use fresh yeast (and check the expiry date on your jar). Expired yeast won’t work well.
  • When adding the yeast to the water, ensure it is closer to lukewarm than hot.
  • It’s ok to add a little more or less flour to get the consistency you want. If the dough seems too sticky, add a little more flour at a time until it seems just right.
  • Get kids to help with the kneading! Every child should have the experience of making bread…at least once!
  • Use a pizza cutter to make the wedge shapes.
  • Roll wedges from the wide side first, and roll loosely. Curve into crescent shape after placing the roll on the parchment.

Most importantly: have fun!

Left image - dough rising in a glass bowl. Right image - dough rolled into a circle and cut into wedges.

How To Make Crescent Rolls

Recipes like this one take the intimidation out of making homemade bread. While there may be a few steps to follow, bear in mind that most of them are as easy as watching bread rise!

  1. Make the “sponge” (per recipe below) and mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (except flour).
  2. Slowly add flour until soft dough forms and knead until smooth.
  3. Allow it to rise until doubled in size. Then cut in half, roll out into circles and cut into wedges.
  4. Roll each wedge into a crescent and place on a tray to rise.
  5. Bake until golden brown!

Spread butter, garlic butter, or even homemade jam on these crescent and enjoy!  

Crescent rolls prepped on a parchment lined baking tray.

What To Make With Crescent Rolls

There are so many amazing recipes to make with crescent rolls! You can use them to make:

The options are endless!

A basket full of baked crescent rolls.

How To Freeze Homemade Crescent Rolls

To freeze before baking is so easy, and when it comes time to make the rolls no one will know they weren’t prepared the same day!

  • Make crescent rolls but instead of baking put them in the freezer, covered, on the baking tray.
  • After two hours, remove and place in a zippered freezer bag or airtight container for up to 6 months.
  • To bake, defrost rolls in the fridge completely (on a parchment-lined tray ready to bake is best), then bake according to recipe directions!

This is a recipe for rainy days or special occasions. Enjoy it with your loved ones anytime.

Homemade Crescent Rolls

This easy recipe yields perfectly soft and flaky crescent every time, full of delicious real butter flavor! 

  • 1 packet active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (plus 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110°F)
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • milk for brushing
  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let sit for 10 mins or until foamy.

  2. Add melted butter and warm milk to a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, egg and salt. Stir in 2 cups of flour.
  3. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time to create a soft dough. Knead until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Place dough on a lightly flour surface and divide in two. Roll each half into a 12″ circle and cut each circle into 12 wedges.
  6. Roll wedges into a crescent shape starting with the wide end. Place at least 2″ apart on a parchment lined pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise 30-40 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush with milk and bake rolls 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Top image - crescent rolls in a basket. Bottom image - crescent rolls prepped on a baking sheet.
Crescent rolls in a basket
Crescent rolls in a basket

Valentine’s Blondies

Valentines Day Treats are the perfect way to show someone (or everyone) some love!

This this easy M&M blondie recipe comes out perfectly sweet and chewy – and they can be decorated any way you like!

Valentines Blondies cut into square on a cutting board.

The Perfect Valentine’s Treat

Blondies, brownies, and cookies of all kinds make a perfect potluck, picnic, or party dessert all year round. Especially if they are dressed up in a lovely box or basket!

Blondies are dessert bars or cookies with the texture of brownies but with brown sugar and vanilla instead of cocoa so they stay “blonde.”

These colorful bars can be decorated with any kind of candy, nuts or chocolate chips!

Left image - Chocolate chips and m&m's being mixed into a bowl of batter. Right images - chocolate chips and m&m's sprinkled on top of a pan of blondie batter.

How To Make Blondies

In just a few simple steps these sweet treats will be ready to eat.

  1. Heat butter and brown sugar and stir together. Allow mixture to cool and whisk in eggs.
  2. Add dry ingredients then fold in half the M&M’s and half the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour batter into pan and top with remaining M&M’s and chocolate chips before baking.

Swap out the pink and red M&M’s for the perfect seasonal color for any time of the year!

Other Delicious Additions

Blondies are a perfect vehicle for a variety of sweet and colorful add-ins! Mix and match these favorites to find the perfect “sweet spot!”

  • Candies: White chocolate chips, toffee bits, peanut butter chips, sprinkles, or mint candies
  • Nuts: Toasted chopped walnuts, pecans, or peanuts
  • Fruit: Coconut flakes, dried cranberries, cherries or raisins
  • Sauces: Swirls of melted chocolate, peanut butter, or butterscotch sauce

The possibilities are endless!

Baked Valentines Blondies in a pan.

How To Store Blondies

Store blondies the way you would store any bar or cookie. Keep them in an airtight container or a zippered bag and keep them away from direct light or heat. They will last about 10 days.

Must-Try Sweet Treats

Valentine’s Blondies

These Valentine's Blondies will be your sweetheart's favorite treat this year!

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup M&M's
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 Pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.

  2. Heat butter and sugars over medium heat while stirring until smooth. Let cool 5 minutes.

  3. Add eggs one at a time stirring until mixed. Add in vanilla.

  4. Combine flour, salt, baking soda & baking powder. Stir into the egg mixture. Add 1/2 of the M&Ms and 1/2 of the chocolate chips.
  5. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and top with remaining M&M’s and chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool, remove from pan and cut into bars

Valentines Blondies cut into squares.
Valentines blondies cut into squares and stacked.
Top image - Four Valentines Blondies stacked. Bottom image - Valentines Blondies cut into squares on a cutting board.

Fluffy & Crispy Homemade Waffles

This Homemade Waffle Recipe is the perfect way to enjoy a lazy weekend morning! Using just a handful of ingredients you likely have in the pantry, these waffles are delicious drizzled with melted butter and syrup!

Four waffles stacked on top of each other on a white plate. Topped with butter and syrup.

Is Pancake Mix The Same as Waffle Mix?

Waffles and pancakes do not use the same batter. To make the best waffles, don’t use pancake mix. Sure you can cook pancake batter in your waffle iron, but they won’t have the same texture or flavor that classic waffles have.

A waffle batter uses more egg (plus we beat the whites separately and fold them in for the most fluffy waffles ever)! The extra egg makes for a crispy exterior surrounding a moist, custard-like interior that has lots of large air pockets.

Tip: For extra fluffy waffles, the egg whites are beaten until stiff peaks form and folded into the batter. This step only takes a few minutes and makes a big difference.

If you are short on time, you can skip this step but I highly recommend the extra few minutes!

Left image - waffle ingredients in glass bowls. Right image - fluffy waffle batter prepared in a glass bowl.

How to Make Waffles

This light, fluffy homemade waffle recipe is easy but only takes about 15 minutes of prep. Don’t worry, the rave reviews will make it worth the extra step of whipping the egg whites!

  1. Beat egg whites until stiff
  2. Mix dry with wet ingredients (per recipe below).
  3. Fold in whipped egg whites.
  4. Ladle batter into waffle iron and cook until lightly browned and crispy.

Serve with your favorite toppings.

Waffle batter on a waffle iron.

Best Waffle Toppings

Waffles are incredibly versatile and accommodating to so many different toppings.  They can be served as the bread in a gravy-rich meal, or as a dessert.

Leftovers

Be sure to cook up all the batter, because waffles store well in the fridge or freezer, and are easy to revive in the microwave, toaster or oven for quick breakfasts or even snacks.

  • To Store: Cool completely before storing in freezer bags or containers. They will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator, and up to four-six months in the freezer.
  • To Reheat: Just remove as many as you need and place straight into the toaster oven on the medium or light setting until heated through. They can burn easily, so keep an eye on them.

Yummy Breakfast Options

Homemade Waffles

Nothing beats them for home-cooked comfort and making the kids or weekend guests feel special.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs (divided)
  • 1 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (or oil)
  1. Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, mix egg yolks, milk and butter. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. *see note

  5. Add egg yolk to flour mixture and stir to combine. Fold in egg whites.
  6. Drop by large spoonfuls onto greased waffle iron, close the lid and cook about 3-5 minutes.

Beating the egg whites and folding them in makes the fluffiest waffles. This recipe can be made without beating the egg whites as well. If you do not beat the egg whites, reduce milk to 1 1/2 cups and add whole eggs to the butter mixture.

Buttermilk Waffles

To make buttermilk waffles, reduce baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Replace milk with buttermilk.

Top image - a stack of waffles with butter on top. Bottom image - Waffle batter on a waffle iron.
A stack of waffles with butter and syrup on top.
Top image - a stack of waffles with butter and syrup on top. Bottom image - waffle batter on a waffle iron.

Homemade Pancakes {From Scratch!}

If you are looking for the best pancake recipe to make from scratch, you’ve found it! A simple combination of ingredients you likely have on hand (flour, milk, eggs, baking powder) makes these easy pancakes the perfect breakfast!

Fluffy, flavorful and delicious.

Syrup being poured on top of a stack of homemade pancakes.

Tips for Perfection

  • Heat Cook over medium heat. It takes longer but the results are better (a non-stick skillet works best).
  • Oil Oil the pan and allow it to heat up. Before making the frist batch, give it a gentle wipe with paper towels to remove any big blobs of oil. This will give you perfectly browned pancakes.
  • Consitency The batter should be slightly lumpy (image below) and should pour easily but should not be runny.
    • If it’s too thick add milk a tablespoon or two at a time.
    • If it’s too runny or you’ve accidentally added too much liquid, you can add a bit of flour to get the right consistency.
  • Flip Flip the pancakes with a spatula once bubbles begin to form and the bubbles near the edges start to pop.
  • Mix Ins Add your mix ins on top of the pancakes once you’ve poured the batter into the skillet instead of stirring them into the batter. This keeps  mixins from burning onto the pan.

Pancake batter ingredients in a glass bowl before and after being mixed.

How to Make Pancakes (from scratch)

You’ll love how simple it is to whip these up. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Mix dry ingredients together with a whisk (this adds air to the flour, almost like sifting it).
  2. Whisk wet ingredients together thoroughly with the melted butter.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour wet ingredient mixture in. Mix, but not too much, your batter should be a bit lumpy!

How to Cook Pancakes

Test an electric griddle or pan for temperature. Spill a droplet of water onto the surface and if it sizzles, it’s ready but don’t make it too hot or the pancakes will burn before they’re cooked in the middle!

  1. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into pan.
  2. Wait until bubbles form in the middle and they just begin to pop along the edges. The edges should be a little bit browned.
  3. Flip and cook the other side.

You can do a few at a time or more, depending on how big your cooking surface is. It’s easy. Transfer pancakes to a warm (200°F) oven. Just have an open casserole dish waiting in the oven to receive the freshly cooked flapjacks! That way they stay nice and hot, and you can serve them all at once at the table along with other fixings.

Fluffy pancakes cooking in a frying pan.

Make Ahead/How to Reheat Pancakes

I often keep a batch of homemade pancake mix in my cupboard to make pancakes easy but on weekdays we like to have them ready to go so all they need is warming.

Pancakes can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and kept in the freezer for 2 months. Just seal them in a freezer bag or an airtight container for storage (with a piece of parchment in between).

To Reheat Pancakes

Toaster: Pop homemade pancakes straight into the toaster. And it makes them a tiny bit crisp which is delicious.

Microwave: The microwave works too, just heat about 20-30 seconds for 1 serving.

A stack of homemade pancakes with two pats of butter and syrup on top.

Easy Breakfast Recipes

Fluffy Pancakes

The best pancake recipe to make from scratch. These are fluffy and so easy to make!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk (or as needed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (or vegetable oil)
  1. Whisk milk, eggs and melted butter.

  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
  3. Create a well in the middle and add wet ingredients. Stir just until combined, batter should look slightly lumpy. It should be slightly thick but should still be able to pour fairly smoothly. You may need to add a bit more milk.

  4. Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat (or to 350°F). Lightly grease with butter or olive oil.

  5. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook on one side until bubbles form and begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side about 1-2 minutes.

To Make Large Batches: If making large batches, preheat the oven to 175°F and keep a baking sheet in the oven. Keep pancakes warm on the baking sheet.

To Make Whole Wheat Pancakes: Substitute 1/2 cup of white flour for wheat flour.

To Make Ahead: Cook and cool pancakes. Separate pancakes with a layer of waxed paper and place in a freezer bag. Reheat in the microwave, toaster or oven

Favorite Pancake Toppings

My kids’ absolute favorite thing to do to pancakes, is to spread them with seedless raspberry jam, then drizzle warmed up heavy cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon over them. Trust me when I say this is actually a delicious combination! Other favorite toppings include:

  • Butter and real maple syrup, of course!
  • Whipped cream and honey… delicious on crepes, too!
  • Sliced strawberries… or blackberries, raspberries, blueberries…or all four!!
  • Various kinds of jam with clotted cream!
  • Nutella… this is basically like having dessert for breakfast!

 

Top image - syrup being poured on top of a stack of homemade pancakes. Bottom image - pancakes cooking in a frying pan.
Top image - syrup being poured on top of a stack of pancakes. Bottom image - pancake batter in a glass bowl.
Syrup being poured on top of a stack of homemade pancakes.

Easy Walnut Rugelach Recipe

Rugelach Cookies are delicious pastry-like cookies that are as fun to make as they are to eat. A flakey and slightly chewy dough wrapped around a sweet nutty filling and topped with crunchy coarse sugar or a sprinkle of powdered sugar if you like.

Serve them for dessert, enjoy with coffee or serve them with your holiday favorites like gingerbread cookies and shortbread cookies.

A serving plate stacked full of rugelach.

What is Rugelach?

Rugelach are bite-sized pastries made with butter and cream cheese dough wrapped around sweet fillings of various kinds. The dough is rolled and cut into triangles, spread with filling and each cookie is rolled up in the style of a mini crescent roll.

These tasty pastries trace their origins to eastern European Jewish cuisine and are standard fare in Jewish bakeries all over the world.

Left image - nut filling ingredients in a glass bowl. Right image - pastry dough topped with jam and nut filling.

How to Make Rugelach

Easy rugelach dough is a rich mixture of flour and fat. Here’s how to make this rugelach recipe:

  1. Prepare the dough and while it is chilling, mix up the nut filling.
  2. Roll dough into circles about the thickness and diameter of a pie crust.
  3. Spread dough with jam and nut filling and cut into wedges.
  4. Roll each wedge toward the pointed side.
  5. Top with course sugar and bake until slightly browned.

As you can see, there are multiple steps but they aren’t difficult and these pretty treats are easy to make!

Rugelach pastry topped with jam and nut fillings and being rolled into mini crescent rolls.

To Prep Ahead

Rugelach can be made ahead. These are the 3 best ways I like to store them:

  • Assemble before baking You can assemble the cookies and freeze for baking later. Freeze on a cookie sheet and then transfer to freezer bags when hardened. Thaw on a cookie sheet at room temperature before baking.
  • Freeze Dough Or, you can freeze only the dough for later use. Just roll it out, layered between two sheets of wax paper. Then roll it up, wrap in plastic, and store in a freezer bag. It will keep up to six months.
  • Freeze Baked Cookies Bake cookies as directed below and cool completely. Freeze in an air tight container up to 4 months.

Other Delicious Rugelach Fillings

You don’t have to limit your options to my walnut and pecan filling. All kinds of yummy fillings work equally well in rugalach. Here are some popular ones:

  • Poppyseed pastry filling
  • Marzipan
  • Fruit preserves like apricot, fig or raspberry
  • Apple with cinnamon and sugar
  • Brown sugar-cinnamon streusel
  • Chocolate chips

Delicious Pastry Dessert

Walnut Rugelach

Rugelach are delicious pastry-like cookies that are fun to make and utterly satisfying to eat.

  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam (or apricot)
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup walnuts ground (coarsely ground)
  • 1/4 cup pecans (coarsely ground)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins or currants (finely chopped , optional)
  1. Combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt with a mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add sugar.
  2. Turn mixer to low and add flour just until combined.
  3. Divide dough in half and refrigerate 1 hour.

  4. Combine filling ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Remove one half of the dough from the fridge and roll into a 10″ circle.
  6. Spread the dough with the preserves and sprinkle 1/2 of the filling over top.
  7. Cut the circle into 12 even wedges. Starting at the wide edge, roll each wedge crescent roll style.
  8. Whisk together egg and cream. Brush over each cookie and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place on a prepared pan.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough and chill 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  11. Bake cookies 28-30 minutes or until lightly browned.

A serving plate stacked full of rugelach.
A serving plate stacked full of rugelach.
Top photo - A serving plate stacked full of rugelach. Bottom photo - Rugelach pastry topped with jam and nut fillings and being rolled into mini crescent rolls.

Easy Homemade French Bread

There is nothing better than a homemade loaf of crusty French Bread. This recipe uses only a few ingredients and while it takes time, it’s easy. Even YOU can make the perfect loaf of french bread!

This is great to serve alongside a spaghetti dinner (or any pasta recipe) and makes delicious garlic bread. It’s also perfect for homemade French toast for a lazy Sunday morning!

Tips for Baking Bread

Yeast The most important part of this recipe is to make sure your yeast is not expired. Use an active dry yeast. You will proof your yeast with a mixture of sugar and water, this ‘feeds’ the yeast so it can rise your bread! If you don’t see a foamy layer like the image below, your yeast isn’t good to bake with.

Flour Start with the smallest amount of flour in the recipe (2 3/4 cups in this recipe). For french bread, you want to add just enough to create a dough that is still slightly sticky. Too much flour will make a dense loaf.

Kneading by Hand  Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3-5 minutes.

Kneading with a Stand Mixer Place the dough in a mixer with a dough hook. Allow it to mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Left image - yeast blooming in a glass bowl. Right image - formed french bread roll on a baking tray.

How to Make French Bread

A true French bread contains just water, flour, yeast, and salt although you’ll commonly find other ingredients added to French bread in North America. French bread can vary in shapes and sizes from baguettes, to loaves to round in shape and is often baked in a steam oven resulting in the perfect crust (I’ve included my tip for getting steam into your oven below in the crust section).

This basic French loaf recipe can be altered to include slivers of garlic, fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, or even a handful of shredded cheese. The varieties are endless, but all versions start with the same basic steps!

  1. Make Dough
    1. Combine warm water with sugar, and salt until fully dissolved, then stir in yeast. Let it sit until foamy.
    2. Stir in the flour and mix well. Knead a few minutes
  2. Rise #1 about 1 hour in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Rise #2 punch down and rise again 30 minutes.
  4. Form Loaf You can form the loaf from the ball of dough but I like to roll it out to a rectangle and roll it up jelly roll style and pinch the edges under to seal.
  5. Rise #3 Let the bread rise another 30 minutes and then brush with egg white.
  6. Bake until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Perfect Crust

Add slashes to the loaf You can purchase a tool for this (a bread lame) but if you don’t make a lot of bread, just use a very sharp knife. The purpose for the slashes you see on a loaf of bread is to help keep the bread in the desired shape while it expands as it bakes. If brushing with egg, slash the bread after.

Brush with egg if desired Brushing the outside of the bread with egg white will give a glossy crisp crust, this is optional. For a soft crust, brush with melted butter.

Add Steam Generously spritz both the bread and the inside of the oven with water (don’t spritz your hot glass with water though and be sure to check your user manual first) or add a handful of ice cubes into a cast iron skillet and place it in the oven with the bread. Steam helps give the perfect crust

French bread loaf being brushed with melted butter mixture before baking.

How to Soften French Bread

The best way to keep your homemade French bread fresh is to keep it in an airtight container or zippered bag. French bread can also be stored in aluminum foil as long as it is tightly wrapped but be sure to store it away from extreme temperatures.

Turn into crostini and top with bruschetta, or top with garlic butter for delicious homemade garlic bread.

More Yummy Bread Recipes

Easy French Bread

This is an easy recipe that uses only a few ingredients and a little bit of technique.

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 3/4 to 3 cups flour
  • 1 egg white
  1. Combine sugar, salt, and 1 cup warm water in a bowl. Stir in yeast and let stand 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in 2 cups of flour. Continue adding flour a bit at a time to form a stiff dough. Knead until about 5 minutes (or use a dough hook on a stand mixer per notes below).

  3. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise 1 hour or until doubled. Punch dough down and let rise 30 minutes more.

  4. Roll dough into a 14"x10" square and roll up jelly roll style to create a 14"x2.5" loaf. Place on a parchment lined pan seam side down. Using a sharp knife, cut 3-4 diagonal slits into the loaf (about 1/4" deep).

  5. Cover with a damp towel and let rise 30-40 minutes or until doubled. Brush bread with egg white. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  6. Place in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until browned. Cool on a baking rack.

Place the dough in a mixer with a dough hook and allow it to mix on medium speed for about 90 seconds.

Recipe Adapted Martin, Verneil. “Among Friends Vol II”. Calgary, AB, 1989. 39. Print.

French Bread sliced on a wooden board.
Homemade French Bread sliced on a wooden board.
Top photo - Top view of French Bread sliced on a wooden board. Bottom photo - Slices of French Bread on a wooden board.

Grandma’s Meringue Cookies: Airy and Delicious!

Dainty and delicious this Meringue Cookies is my grandma’s recipe. Airy bites of lemony sweetness dissolve the minute you pop them in your mouth.

If you’re looking for an easy naturally gluten free dessert, this flourless meringue recipe is just the thing!

a bowl full of meringue cookies

What Are Meringue Cookies?

Also known as French meringue cookies, these pillowy clouds of sweetness taste almost like candy. They are made from egg whites whipped with cream of tartar and superfine sugar with a little lemon juice for flavor.

The stiff meringue is then piped into bite-sized rounds on a cookie sheet and baked at a low temperature until dry and crispy, but not browned. Italian meringue is in the same family, but is a soft frosting made with whipped with hot sugar syrup to produce a glossy cake frosting.

Meringue cookie ingredients whipped to light and airy peaks.

How to Make Meringue Cookies

Meringues aren’t difficult to make, but do follow the recipe directions carefully, because that will produce the best texture.

  1. Beat eggs Beat the eggs until stiff peaks form.
  2. Pipe the finished meringue onto a cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at a low temperature until dry and crisp.

I use superfine sugar (aka bakers sugar, caster sugar or berry sugar). This sugar is a bit of a finer consistency and dissolves better than regular granulated sugar. If you don’t have any on hand place some sugar into a food processor and pulse several times until uniformly fine grained, but not powdered.

Variations

Color Food coloring of your choice will make your meringue cookies extra pretty.

Flavors Flavoring of all kinds can also be used. Almond, lemon, peppermint, coconut and vanilla extracts all make very tasty meringues.

Meringue cookies topped with sprinkles baked on a cookie sheet.

How Long Do They Last?

For all you bakers who make your Christmas cookies in advance, meringues are the perfect recipe for you. Meringues store for up to three weeks in the pantry or fridge, and for four months or longer in the freezer.

How to Store Meringue Cookies

Humidity will make your meringues sticky and chewy because sugar absorbs moisture. To keep your cookies dry and crisp, store in air tight containers or zip lock freezer bags.

Classic Christmas Cookies

Grandma's Meringue Cookies

These airy bites of lemony sweetness shatter and dissolve the second you pop them in your mouth.

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup superfine sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 225°F.

  2. Mix egg whites and lemon juice until foamy. Add tartar and set mixer to medium high.
  3. Beat in sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Continue mixing until shiny and stiff peaks form.
  4. Pipe into 1″ kisses. Add sprinkles if desired.
  5. Bake 1 hour or until firm. Turn the oven off and leave meringues in the oven at least 3 hours or overnight.

Top photo - three Meringue Cookies on the counter. Bottom photo - Meringue cookies topped with sprinkles baked on a cookie sheet.
A blue bowl full of meringue cookies.
Top photo - three Meringue Cookies on the counter. Bottom photo - Meringue cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Homemade M&M Cookies: From Scratch!

Homemade M&M Cookies are a favorite for any age with a glass of cold milk. Brown sugar gives them a satisfying chewiness, and the M&M’s candy coating provides a pleasant crunch.

Cookies baked from scratch always taste so much better than store-bought and these cookies are such a colorful, fun change of pace from the usual chocolate chip or sugar cookies. You’ll love how easy these are to make and freeze.

A stack of M&M Cookies.

How to Make M&M Cookies

These M&M cookies are not thick, they’re a little bit of a thinner cookie but super soft, chewy and yummy. Perfection in our opinion!

This is great recipe introduce kids to baking.

  1. Cream softened butter with white and brown sugar first (per recipe below). Mix the egg into the sugar mixture.
  2. Combine dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time.
  3. Bake until lightly browned.

The dough will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Form into a 2-3-inch log and tightly wrap in two or three layers of plastic, or in one layer inside a freezer bag. Whenever you want, warm from the oven cookies, just slice into ½-inch discs and bake until browned and fragrant.

Left image - M&M Cookie batter with M&M being folded into it. Right image - M&M cookie balls on a baking tray.

Can You Freeze M&M Cookies?

This recipe is perfect for make-ahead convenience. Consider doubling the recipe so you’ll have a stash of these put away for unexpected guests or school parties that pop up suddenly. These fabulous cookies will keep for 3 – 4 months in the freezer packed in bags or containers. They thaw in 1 – 2 minutes.

Other Delicious Add-Ins

My M&M cookies are versatile and accommodating to many yummy additions and substitutions Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:

  • Chocolate: Reese’s Pieces, chocolate chips
  • Chips: Peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips
  • Nuts: Chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds

Whether you stick to the original recipe or play around with ingredients, M&M cookies are a reliable, ever-popular treat.

Delicious Cookie Recipes

M&M Cookies

Homemade M&M Cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious, especially when these chocolaty treats are served with a glass of cold milk.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup M&Ms
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and white sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well.

  3. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and add to the butter mixture a bit at a time, mixing after each addition.
  4. Fold in M&Ms and drop by heaping tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes.

Recipe Adapted Terpsma, Taryn. “Smartie Cookies”. Recipe. Cooking with Class. Beaumont, AB, 2011. 83. Print.

A stack of M&M Cookies.
M&M Cookies piled on a wooden plate.
Top photo - a pile of M&M cookies. Bottom photo - cookie dough in a clear mixing bowl